Start with WHY…

So much talk about finding your passion, so much talk about having a mission… so little help in understanding what that really means…  I’ve been thinking about that alot lately for a number of reasons.  At the end of the day, isn’t it really about what you want others to say about you when you are gone?  Isn’t the WHY in our lives, the reason we do what we do?  

So, I’ve got it down to some simple questions:

If you die today…..Fill in the blanks…

1.  What do you want your family (spouse, children, parents, brothers/sisters, cousins etc) say about you?  What you meant to them, why you were so important in their lives.  What did you do that made you so important to them, how did you behave that made you so important to them?

2. What do you want your friends say about you?  What you meant to them, why you were so important in their lives.  What did you do that made you so important to them, how did you behave that made you so important to them?

4.  What do you want your community, your boss and co-workers to say about you?  What did you do at work that affected those around you?  What example did you set for them?  How did you respond when they needed help?  What will they miss when you are gone?  What did you teach them by being who you are?

5.  What do you want your God to say about you?  (Don’t believe in God?  Skip the question, but think about it…if there was a God, what would you want Him/Her to say?)  How did you use the talents/gifts that you have been given? 

These are big questions, I know, I think about them all the time… and some of the answers for me change… it may take you time to come up with the answers that mean something to you.  I suggest trying to come up with as many descriptions for each that you can, and then look at them all.  Read them, reread them, think about them, pray about them, think about them some more.   And then analyze them.   What stands out?  What themes repeat?  What do you want your life to be about?  Who are you?  And  most importantly WHY are you?

It’s not just about passion, it’s not just about mission…those are byproducts…  Finding your WHY will reveal your passion and give you a mission.   The WHY shows you the mountain and the living is the individual steps you take to climb that mountain.  You may think you can’t possibly climb it, so you just put it off, and live day to day, with no direction, climbing any mountain, taking whatever comes your way, whether it’s important to BEING who you really want to be or not.

I challenge you to answer these questions for yourself.  You may not come up with all the answers to these overnight, some you may not ever answer, some may change over time.  But taking one step now, answering one question, may cause you to ask another question and then perhaps another.  Life is not about having all the answers, it’s about living, and changing and growing.  It’s about being who you are and taking advantage of your talents, skills, abilities to give to those around you.  I promise you if you will answer these questions, you will find some direction, some understanding of who you are, who you want to be and WHY.

“To live, love, laugh and work in such a way that those that I come in contact with see something, one thing, that causes them to think about and understand just a little bit more about who they are and who they want to be, and teaches them something, one or many things they can do to create the life they want to live, so that when I am no longer here, in some small way, a piece of who I am will remain and God will smile…”  that is my mission… that is my passion… that is my WHY… 



About John Kalusa

A Career Management Thought Leader and creator of the "A Company of 1" approach to career management, development and mastery. Revolutionizing the way we approach our careers.
This entry was posted in Career Thought, Mission, Purpose, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Start with WHY…

  1. Those are tough questions and I think about them daily. I just wish I had all of the answers.

    • jkalusa says:

      Justin, thanks for the comment. You are right, they are tough questions… and the reality is that most of us avoid answering them. Not because we don’t know, but because we may not really want to hear our answer, so we avoid them, and fill our lives with other things, distractions, personal, professional whatever that will allow us to get short term highs but leave us empty or asking ourselves “What am I doing this job for?”.

      Like I said in the post, these don’t have to be answered to, committed to, tattooed on your arm tomorrow…. but focusing first on why, and what you want to be about, to contribute to whomever, will guide you, direct you and motivate you to get up and get out there and make your best life happen, every day, even when you are walking through a valley….

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